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TOURS
1-DAY TOUR IN NAGANO: SNOW MONKEYS, ZENKO-JI TEMPLE & SAKE

1-DAY TOUR IN NAGANO: SNOW MONKEYS, ZENKO-JI TEMPLE & SAKE

Period

All Year Round

Time

9:35 - 17:30

Meeting Place

JR Nagano Station Information Board

Price

Adult (13+) 15,500 JPY
Child (6-12) 11,000 JPY

Highlights

  • Visit the world-famous Snow Monkeys of Jigokudani – the only known hot spring-bathing monkeys in the world! – and learn all about what makes them so unique
  • Explore Zenko-ji, one of Japan’s oldest and most important Buddhist temples
  • Try Nagano’s acclaimed ‘sake’ with a tasting and learning experience all led by your guide (non-alcoholic options also available)
  • Enjoy lunch at a nearby restaurant and experience Nagano’s renowned food culture

 

*Please note – as of May 27th 2019 the itinerary for this tour will be amended to first visit Zenko-ji Temple followed lunch and `sake` tasting, and afternoon visit to the Snow Monkey Park. The start and finish time for this tour remain the same. Our tour page will soon be updated with the revised itinerary.

 

If you wish to book this tour for a date on or after May 27th 2019 and have any questions about the revised itinerary, please feel free to contact us at snowmonkeyresorts@machinovate.com.

 

Description

 

Running throughout the year, this tour takes in some of Nagano’s most famous highlights in an enjoyable day of discovery and fun. Your English-speaking guide will meet you at JR Nagano Station at 09:35 (the guide will be waiting from 09:20 onward) to transport you to the Snow Monkey Park where you will spend time with the world-famous monkeys. Your guide will take you along the forest trail leading to the park and into Jigokudani or “Hell’s Valley” – home of the snow monkeys.

 

snow monkeys in bath snowSnow Monkeys_190217_0435

 

As the only troop of monkeys in the world known to bathe in hot springs, your guide will introduce these truly curious creatures and provide you time to enjoy the unique experience of observing them in close proximity.

 

Snow Monkeys_180710_0235Snow Monkeys_180521_0227

 

It’s then time for lunch! Depending on the time of year we use different restaurants, each serving cuisine highlighting the best of Nagano’s renowned food culture. Your guide will always be happy to talk all things food – one of the highlights of any visit to Japan!

 

After lunch, the tour heads to Zenko-ji Temple, one of the oldest and most important Buddhist temples in Japan. Registered as National Treasure, it is a place of true historic importance and with all the legends and myths of a near 1400-year old complex! You will be guided around the temple before (time permitting) your guide will give you the opportunity to explore the surrounding precinct of smaller temples, shops, and restaurants by yourself.

 

Zenko-ji temple in Nagano cityikko sanzan

 

You then met up with your guide and the tour concludes with sake tasting nearby the temple. Nagano is synonymous with sake and no visit to this region is complete without delving into Japan’s most famous beverage. Mastering sake takes a life time of dedication. Dip you toes into this seductive world as your guide explains the process, terminology, and appreciation of Nagano’s renowned and award-winning sake.

 

Warmed by the tasting, your guide will then accompany you back to JR Nagano Station where the tour concludes at approximately 17:30.

 

ITINERARY

09:35 Meet up with the guide at Nagano Station. The meeting point is across from the Shinkansen exit/entrance under the Information Board. Our guide will be there by 9:20.
10:45 Arrive at the Snow Monkey Park area. Prepare and walk along the forest trail (25-30 minutes) into the park.
11:30 Arrival at the Snow Monkey Park. Enjoy watching the wild macaques bathing in the onsen and going about their lives.
12:15 Depart the park and get back on the forest trail to your lunch restaurant.
13:00 Have lunch at a restaurant nearby the Snow Monkey Park.
13:45 Leave the lunch restaurant and head to Zenko-ji Temple.
15:00 Arrival at Zenko-ji Temple and explore the precinct with your guide followed by (time permitting) 25-30 minutes of free time.
16:30 Enjoy sake tasting - Japan's most famous beverage - led by your guide, nearby the temple.
17:00 End sake tasting and head back toward the station.
17:30 Tour concludes at JR Nagano Station.

NOTES

Included:

  • Transportation fee from Nagano to the Snow Monkey Park and between activities/attractions
  • Snow Monkey Park entrance fee
  • Lunch (vegetarian options are available, please let us know beforehand)
  • Sake tasting
  • English-speaking guide

 

Excluded:

  • Bullet train tickets
  • Optional entrance fee to the inner sanctuary of Zenko-ji Temple

 

Other Information:

  • Please wear suitable shoes for the walking trail.
  • During the winter it is common to see the Snow Monkeys enjoying the hot spring bath, however from spring up to autumn there will be times where the monkeys play or eat in the water, however please note that the monkeys are wild animals and there is no guarantee that there will be monkeys in the bath.
  • There are a few days in the year that the monkeys might not come down to the park. In such case we will provide an alternative activity.
  • Infants (0-5) are free of charge. An infant lunch is not included and the order will be made directly to the restaurant according to your needs.
  • The tour application deadline is 1 day before the tour date at 17:00.

MEETING PLACE

Google Map

JR Nagano Station Information Board

Kurita, Nagano-shi, Nagano, 380-0921, Japan

FAQ

Which train service should I use to arrive in Nagano on time for the tour? What time does the bullet train depart back to Tokyo after the tour?

The start and end of the tour are arranged according to the bullet train (called Hokuriku Shinkansen) timetable. See below for specific timetables on the bullet train departure and arrival times to/from Nagano Station.

 

Departing Tokyo Station – Arriving Nagano Station:

Tokyo: 07:20 – Nagano: 08:43 – Kagayaki (reserved seats only) 

Tokyo: 07:24 – Nagano: 09:14 – Asama

Tokyo: 07:52 – Nagano: 09:30 – Hakutaka*

* You can still take 07:52 – 09:30 train since JR Nagano Station isn’t big at all and there is only one Shinkansen ticket exit. The tour meet-up is just after the Shinkansen ticket exit so please come straight up to there.

 

Departing Nagano Station – Arriving Tokyo Station:

Nagano: 17:55 – Tokyo: 19:20 – Kagayaki (reserved seats only)

Nagano: 18:22 – Tokyo: 20:00 – Hakutaka

 

Also, if you are staying in Myoko Kogen and would like to join the tour, you can take a train from Myoko Kogen Station and get to Nagano Station on time (830 JPY / one way)

Departing Myoko Kogen Station – Arriving Nagano Station:

Myoko Kogen: 7:48 – Nagano: 8:32

Myoko Kogen: 8:39 – Nagano: 9:22

 

Departing Nagano Station  – Arriving Myoko Kogen Station:

Nagano: 18:14 – Myoko Kogen: 18:59

 

 

I am staying in Yudanaka/Shibu/Kanbayashi, can I join the tour?

For guests staying in Yudanaka Onsen and Shibu Onsen or Kanbayashi Onsen, it is possible to join the tour in those areas rather than traveling to JR Nagano Station. Guests staying in Yudanaka and Shibu can meet the tour at Yudanaka Station while guests staying in Kanbayashi Onsen can meet the tour at Enza Cafe in Kanbayashi. This will change the tour start time. Please let us know at the time of booking if you would like to arrange one of these meeting points.

RESERVATION
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